More than four out of five people who have recently started enterprises in Ireland are optimistic about their businesses in 2021, according to a survey carried out by online accountancy firm Accountant Online.

Surprisingly, 81% of respondents said they had not availed of any Government Covid-related supports during the year, although most felt they could need financial support in 2021.

The findings reveal a positive landscape for entrepreneurship, despite the implications of Covid-19 and Brexit.

A total of 36% said they were "very optimistic" for their business in 2021 while 51% said they were "cautiously optimistic" and another 11% said they were a "little optimistic".

Less than 2% said they were "not at all optimistic".

Accountant Online carried out the research over the first two weeks in December and there were 119 respondents from a range of industries including retail, financial, healthcare, science and technology, consultancy and other services, engineering and the arts.

When asked what would be the one support or initiative that could help their business in the coming year, the majority said they would need some kind of financial support or grant from the government. 

The next most popular answer to this question was that they needed help in relation to taxation – either decreases in tax or help understanding tax; the third most popular answer was around accessing mentoring.

The start-up owners said the biggest financial worry for their businesses in 2021 was cash flow, followed by tax issues.

Paying wages was not a major issue for those surveyed. 

Of those surveyed, some 54% had already been planning or had set up their business before Covid-19 hit, while another 23% were inspired to change direction as a result of Covid.

A total of 10% set up their businesses because they lost their job during the pandemic, while the remainder had established the business for a variety of reasons, including wanting to be their own boss and for lifestyle reasons.